Railways all set to trial run first Solar-powered Train in Jodhpur

With fuel consumption across the globe at an all time high and with fossil fuel under impending threat of depletion, Indian Railways is all set to implement a green solution. The India Government wishes to harness the maximum amount of solar power as possible and hence the plan to test first ever train fitted with solar panels.

This special trail will commence trial run later this month. While precise route has yet to be decided, the train will run as a passenger train in Jodhpur.

Railways in its bid to become more environment-friendly is all set to try its first train that would run on Solar energy. The first of its kind trial is to be conducted in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The Solar panel powered train is an experiment taken to reduce the consumption of fuels by the Government.

Even though the train will run on conventional diesel consumption but solar energy will be used for internal electricity gadgets. In all 12 solar panels will be fitted on the top of each coach producing 36000 watts of power in all for the smooth running of the train.

Commenting on this, Gopal Sharma, PRO, North Western Railway said, “This train is to be run as a Passenger Train and trial of this train will run by the end of this month. Solar panels used on the top of the train coaches will be used for functioning of lights and fan in the coaches, he said.

India has in recent time has been under a lot of scanners with it being one of the most polluted countries in the world. With this new initiative, the government is looking at reducing the pollution in the country. According to studies if India consumes solar energy it will help in reducing Carbon Dioxide emission by 200 tonnes.

Also, if the solar energy run train trial becomes a success, it will reduce diesel consumption by up to 90,000 litres in the country every year. This step will not only support the green initiative to make India a cleaner environment but also ensure to produce a substitute for fossil fuels which are on the verge of depletion.

Other than the solar energy the Railway is also looking at usage of alternate sources of energy like CNG, Biodiesel and Natural Gas. It already has a successful example with local trains on Rohtak-Rewari section of Delhi division are run on CNG.

It will be pulled by conventional diesel engines, but the fans, AC and lights in passenger coaches will be powered by electricity generated from solar panels fitted on top of the coaches.

Gopal Sharma, PRO North Western Railways has confirmed trial run of India Solar-Paneled Train. Profits to the Indian Railways due to use of these solar panels atop the train are yet to be ascertained, which could only be determined once the trials are conducted.

Railways estimates approximate savings upto INR 82 lakhs per train per year through use of alternate sources of energy. With over 50,000 coaches in service, the savings in fuel bill could cross INR 2,050 crore per year.

The train using solar power can bring down diesel consumption by 90,000 liters per annum while reducing carbon emissions by over 200 tonnes. As on date, the India Railways use CNG on trains along the Rohtak Rewari section under Delhi Division which has also resulted in enormous monetary and fuel savings.

Solar lighting for 17 railway stations on Kalka-Shimla link

To save energy consumption, all 17 railway stations on the world heritage Kalka-Shimla rail track will soon have the solar lighting system.Divisional Railways Manager, Ambala, Dinesh Kumar said the engineering staff was in the process of working out the modalities of introducing the solar lighting system at these 17 railway stations in a phased manner. He said its work would soon be started.

“Though no separate budget has been made available for the initiative, funds will be spared from the available budget and the work will be started,” said Dinesh.The solar power can also be used to light up coaches, helping in saving power and making all stations on the track green in the second phase. It will also help the Railways earn some carbon footprints for reducing the use of energy.Some public sector companies like the Container Corporation of India are helping the Railways to bear the cost of introducing the solar energy-based system in its stations as part of their corporate social responsibility.

As it is a world heritage rail track, the railway authorities are compelled to retain the track’s ancient architecture, but transformations are not permissible. The introduction of the solar lighting system will help conserve energy consumption.With the Ministry of Railways laying stress on making the railway stations energy efficient, officials are working out the nitty-gritty of adopting energy efficient technologies.

The stations to be covered under the initiative include Taksal, Ghumman, Koti, Sanwara, Dharampur, Kumarhatti, Barog, Solan, Salogra, Kandaghat, Kanoh, Kathleeghat, Shoghi, Taradevi, Jutogh, Summer Hill and Shimla.The Ministry of Power is encouraging energy efficient railway stations by awarding them annually. The Allahabad city railway station had received the award in 2014.

The 96-km Kalka-Shimla track is listed on UNESCO’s world heritage list and is an engineering marvel comprising 102 tunnels and 864 bridges. Constructed in 1898 by the British to provide connectivity to Shimla, which was their summer capital, it was declared a world heritage track in 2008. The 2 feet 6 inches narrow gauge draws visitors from various foreign countries, especially in during the summer, for its scenic beauty.



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